UNESCO Islamabad in partnership with Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), and in collaboration with The Asia Foundation, theUnited States Agency for International Development and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) launched two reports; the UN World Water Development Report 2020, and PCRWR’s Groundwater Investigations and Mapping in the Lower Indus Plain.
The launch was followed by a stakeholder consultation for the development of the “Groundwater Management Plan” for Pakistan. The consultation aims to help the government of Pakistan with the long-term management of groundwater resources.
The World Water Development Report 2020 sheds light on the impact of climate change on the availability, quality, and quantity of water needed for basic human needs, thus undermining the basic rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for billions of people. Such a situation will also hinder the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6, which ensures access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all. This presents a considerable challenge as 2.2 billion people currently do not have access to safely managed drinking water, and 4.2 billion, or 55%of the world’s population, are without safely managed sanitation.
The report on Groundwater Investigations and Mapping in the Lower Indus Plain provides information on areas where groundwater is under stress due to water depletion and quality deterioration. The report also identifies areas where usable groundwater is available. This
information will help the stakeholders in future groundwater management.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Science and Technology in his remarks said that the present government has substantially increased the water resources development budget of the country.
Ms. Patricia McPhillips, UNESCO Representative in Pakistan, Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman, PCRWR, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz, USAID, and Mr. Farid Alam, Director Programs,
The Asia Foundation spoke on different aspects of water and climate change.